Pug Family Updates
The Facts: We feel that we have been let down by our supplier, and in reference to the possible presence of pentobarbital, we have let down our customers. Despite having a relationship for forty years with the supplier of this specific beef, who also services many other pet food companies, we have terminated our relationship with them and will no longer purchase their beef for use in our Hunk of Beef product. As Hunk of Beef is a very unique product, requiring very specific cuts of meat, this supplier’s meat was used in no other products.
Immediately upon learning that dogs became sick on New Years’ Eve, we launched an investigation immediately. The investigation continued for nearly four weeks, including obtaining samples of the same lot fed from the field and having them sent to an independent accredited laboratory to test for any toxin or bacteria we could possibly imagine. All of those tests came back negative. It was not until January 29th that we learned about the term, “pentobarbital.”
Something like this seemed impossible. We were unaware of the problem of pentobarbital in the pet food industry because it is most pervasive in dry foods that source most of their ingredients from rendering plants, unlike Evanger’s, which mainly manufactures canned foods that would not have any rendered materials in its supply chain. All of our raw materials are sourced from USDA-inspected facilities, and many of them are suppliers with whom we have had long-standing relationships.
Once we learned that pentobarbital was found in the stomach contents of the dog, we dug much deeper into research about the topic. What we found is that the FDA knows, and has conducted research, on the use of pentobarbital primarily in dry foods. The research can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129135.htm
In our investigation, we spoke with many suppliers to learn how it could even be possible that an animal that had been euthanized could ever possibly end up in the animal food stream. What we learned was that pentobarbital is very highly controlled, and that, if an animal is euthanized, it is done so by a veterinarian. Once this process has been done, there is absolutely no regulation that requires the certified Vet to place any kind of marker on the animal indicating that it has been euthanized and guaranteeing that product from euthanized animals cannot enter the food chain. This is a simple task, and goes a very long way to ensure safety in many areas.
Since the launch of this investigation, Evanger’s has acted as openly and transparently, sharing all test results, what we as a company were doing to continue the investigation, and all facts of the investigation. Once we learned of the term, “pentobarbital,” we spent many hours trying to find a lab that would test for the presence of pentobarbital in a meat substance. It turns out that most labs only test for this in humans. Eventually we did find a lab, and have cans currently being tested, the results of which we plan to share with the public once they are available.
In addition to fully-funding the veterinary bills for the dogs that became ill Evanger’s will be making a donation to a local shelter in honor of Talula the Pug.
Evanger’s will continue its unwavering commitment to pet nutrition and health, and our family greatly values the incredible partnership and continued trust with pet owners in the U.S. and across the world.
Here is the FDA Press Release on the Voluntary Recall